Theresa May visits Wales

26.4.17


The Prime Minister made a visit to Wales yesterday- the first of the General Election campaign. Theresa May was in Bridgend and then made a visit to a steel company in Newport.

I was at the event, and as a dedicated Theresa May style blogger, managed to get a few pictures...and a selfie!

The PM wore a pair of tailored black trousers, a brown and white fleck tweed nipped in jacket and the Russell & Bromley black patent brogues with sparkly heels. They are very shiny in real life! The PM also wore her Crystaldust Swarovski bracelet and her newly purchased celtic ring from Celtic Treasure. When in Wales!




I also met Laura Kuenssberg, Political Editor at the BBC.


Villa Astor: Paradise Restored on the Amalfi Coast

26.4.17

Who wouldn't want to take a trip to the Amalfi Coast to see Villa Astor? Well if your schedule and budget doesn't quite allow, this fantastic new book will transport you in an instant.

Villa Astor: Paradise Restored on the Amalfi Coast showcases the legendary Italian villa that William Waldorf Astor exquisitely curated as a masterpiece of art, architecture, and design.

© Eric Sander, from Villa Astor: Paradise Restored on the Amalfi Coast , by Curt DiCamillo, (Flammarion, 2017)
Dominating the Bay of Naples in the charming town of Sorrento, with spectacular views of Mount Vesuvius, Villa Astor is an Italian landmark with a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire.

American businessman, collector, and politician William Waldorf Astor—founder of the legendary Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York— fell in love with Italy during his time as American Ambassador in Rome. He purchased the villa that now bears his name and turned it into a paradise of art, beauty, architecture, and exquisite gardens. The eccentric, extravagant, and discerning art lover spent a decade restoring and decorating the house and gardens with an outstanding collection of classical artefacts.

© Eric Sander, from Villa Astor: Paradise Restored on the Amalfi Coast , by Curt DiCamillo, (Flammarion, 2017)
After Astor’s death in 1919, the villa changed hands. It was recently acquired by new owners, who have restored the villa and gardens to their former splendour with the talented French decorator Jacques Garcia.

This volume traces the splendid history of a legendary house, garden, and art collection, and the extraordinary life of one of the world’s most enigmatic tycoons.

© Eric Sander, from Villa Astor: Paradise Restored on the Amalfi Coast , by Curt DiCamillo, (Flammarion, 2017)

Celtic Treasure: Theresa May's Welsh Wardrobe

24.4.17


Much has been made of Theresa May's recent walking holiday to North Wales. It was here that the Prime Minister made up her mind to call a snap General Election, the sights and sounds of this rugged Welsh countryside perhaps helping to focus her mind.

Theresa May was snapped leaving church in Dolgellau on Palm Sunday, the day before having visited Celf Aran Arts, a local arts and crafts centre, packed to the brim with items from small businesses and local entrepreneurs. News reports revealed that the Prime Minister purchased a set of Welsh slate coasters (maybe for her private Number 10 office?) and two rings from Celtic Treasure.

With a range of celtic inspired jewellery designed by Anna Hicks, Mrs May purchased two striking rings at Celf Aran Arts. One was a heavy wire work ring, highly influenced by Iron Age and Celtic designs. The other was a modern piece, its oversized swirl design particularly striking.

Political Style caught up with Anna to find out more about what inspires her designs and the reaction she has had since the Prime Minister debuted her pieces.

How long have you been making jewellery?

I started making jewellery on leaving school at 16. I worked with a self-taught jeweller in Dolgellau on one of the old work schemes for £20 ish a week back in the late 70's. I took over the shop in the early 80's and ran it for 8 years before taking a break to have my sons. I've been making jewellery on and off for 38 years and still look forward to work each day. My jewellery is predominantly gold and silver with, occasionally, some stone setting. I specialise in fine piercing work which particularly suits the Celtic patterns.

Theresa May's swirl ring


Which rings did the Prime Minister purchase and why do you think she picked them?

Theresa May chose one heavy wire work ring, influenced by Celtic and Iron Age designs, and she wore this when she was photographed leaving the church in Dolgellau.

The other design was a modern swirl pattern ring which she wore when she announced the election on Tuesday.

I take a keen interest in Mrs May's jewellery and if I had been asked to choose a couple of my designs for her it would have been the two she chose.

Theresa May's celtic ring


What inspires you in your designs?

I started with Celtic patterns as my first boss taught me this style of work but I also enjoy making more modern, bold designs too. Anything can inspire a piece, from a shape to sometimes just sitting at the bench and playing with some wire and seeing what happens!


What do you think of the PM's style?

Mrs May seems very definite in what she likes and I like the fact that she chooses to wear pieces she likes again and again.

Why do you think the PM and her husband like to visit North Wales?

For anybody that likes walking, and peace and quiet, Snowdonia must be hard to beat. Fabulous scenery and the rugged mountains. I am lucky to have lived here all my life and feel vulnerable when I'm in flat country, without the mountains around me!

 What has been the reaction to the PM wearing your designs?

The interest has been wonderful. I still can't quite believe what's happened. The interest generated in the shop where she bought the rings from has been so good for all of us makers. There are 16 of us in total at Celf Aran Arts, making a range of different products, from artwork to ceramics. At the shop we have had newspaper interviews, TV coverage and our Facebook reach has increased by 38,000%!

General Election 2017: Theresa May's Week

23.4.17


Only one story has dominated the airwaves this week- the snap General Election to be held on June 8th.

Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement on Tuesday outside Downing Street. Wearing a navy asymmetrical dress by Daniel Blake and leopard kitten heels from LK Bennett, May was the epitome of Brand Britain.


On Wednesday, Theresa May was interviewed by Radio 4's Today programme before heading to the Commons for the weekly Prime Minister's Questions. It was a serious business kind of day, with the PM wearing a black suit, white blouse and chunky silver chain accessories by Amanda Wakeley. She wore the fierce Frame leopard flats from Russell & Bromley.


Later that day, the PM welcomed the Ukrainian President to Downing Street before heading to Bolton for her first campaign event of the election.


On Thursday, the PM welcomed the President of the European Parliament to Downing Street. She raided her closet for some firm favourites, including a black and white patterned jacket from Amanda Wakeley and the Charlize silver toed loafers from Russell & Bromley.



On Friday, the PM was in her Maidenhead constituency for a campaign event at GSK before heading to Cox Green School to speak to first time voters. May wore a staple black and white blazer, teamed with a black skirt and black ankle boots with leopard detailing.





On Saturday,  May hit the Dudley streets for some canvassing. It was a return to a familiar outfit- blue jeans, white tee, grey jacket and leopard print ankle boots. The chic way to canvass! 

The Beltway Bible

20.4.17


I've got a stack of books that I'm making my way through at the moment - and the top of my list is The Beltway Bible.

I've worked on the Hill and having also worked in politics in the UK, I'm a total geek for books which spell out everything you need to know about our political institutions. Written by political reporter and editor of Huff Post's Washington DC Bureau, Eliot Nelson provides a satirical and absolutely fabulous look at the A-Z of everything you would want to know about the Hill.

From why everyone in Washington is an 'expert' to the value of certain Twitter accounts, this is definitely a book for the political fanatic in your life. Nelson thinks that this book will only be read in the bathroom - something I have to disagree with! This is one I'll be dipping in and out of over the years of political ups and downs that are to come.



Theresa May wears Daniel Blake for General Election announcement

18.4.17


Prime Minister Theresa May announced a General Election to be held on June 8th. Standing outside Downing Street, May wore an asymmetrical pinstripe wool dress by Daniel Blake, leopard print kitten heels from LK Bennett and her recently purchased Swarovski bracelet.

Let the games begin!


The Amanda Wakeley Chunky Chain Necklace and Bracelet

18.4.17



Very rarely will a politician have the power to wear an item and sell it out. Theresa May bucked this trend when she wore a chunky silver chain necklace in July 2016 to make her maiden speech as Prime Minister on the steps of 10 Downing Street.

Designed by Amanda Wakeley, the two pieces quickly became unavailable in their native silver and alternative rose gold - and we totally understand why! The statement piece is absolutely striking, and as May has demonstrated, an effortless accessory to wear during the day and at night. Looking great with a higher neckline, the necklace gives definition with an edgy twist.

May wears her chain necklace with a whole host of outfits- elegant shift dresses, a sparkly tweed jacket and a classic monochrome trouser suit. She also teams it up with the matching bracelet, a satisfyingly statement piece to add power to any wrist.

& above, Crown Copyright
Alot of people worry about wearing oversized accessories, fearing that they won't be able to confidently carry them off. I can testify that these two items won't give you a headache! Wearing mine to a meeting last week I felt confident and chic thanks to a little bit of Wakeley glamour!


Many readers have contacted me to ask where May's chunky chain accessory set was from- I hope this post has put your mind at rest! Be sure to hop on over to the Amanda Wakeley website to snatch yours before demand wins once again! The pieces are also now available in gold.


(And a shout out to the Amanda Wakeley store in Albemarle Street, London for putting me on the waiting list and for the fast delivery!)

March through Instagram

14.4.17


Special mail from the UN | Sugafina candy delivery | Treating my skin with Rodan + Fields | Named as thirty to watch by the IWA | A fun day at the Bath Decorative Fair with Judith Miller | Stopping by Downing Street | Quote about Theresa May in The Telegraph | Spring flowers | Cardiff Bay boats

Kekkai Scarves

12.4.17

kekkai
I'm excited to share with you a fantastic new scarf brand which I recently discovered. kekkai was founded in 2014 as a collaborative art project between two Greek sisters, Emily and Yvonne-Demitra, living separately in New York City and London. Their eye-catching designs are created through a process-driven artistic practice that explores the overlap between digital and analogue techniques of pattern making. Inspired by the hidden powers of geometry, healing plants and color, each piece is uniquely designed to lift the spirit. Made of the highest quality Italian fabrics and large enough to wrap the entire body, they become a second skin, perfect for winter and summer alike.

But what does kekkai mean? Literally, kekkai is 'on a small scale, meaning a projected energy barrier, force field or shield; and on a larger scale, meaning a pocket universe, spiritual or otherwise.' kekkai's pieces certainly live up to this unique description. With its mythological and mystical roots, these qualities are reflected in many of kekkai's beautiful designs. Each design was made as a unique piece of art, inspired by the hidden powers of colour and geometry to help protect the person wearing it. In this collection Emily and Yvonne-Demitra were inspired to protect those around them that suffer from depression and darkness. They created these shields to protect and lift the mood with bright colours, healing plants and artefacts.

kekkai sent me the Pomegranate Solstice scarf to brighten up my spring wardrobe! Made from cashmere, this psychedelic print is hand-finished in Italy and the perfect lightweight scarf to transition from the spring to summer months. I love the pomegranate print, and as a bonus, it reminds me to introduce more pomegranate goodness into my fruit intake! My other favourite design is the Ibiza Gardens print, a heady mix of soft florals on a bold, black background.

The scarves are made with extremely soft silk and cashmere and are large enough to completely wrap the body almost like a second skin. The sisters look for their style inspiration in nature and in every single human being around them, and their next collection is to be launched in June.

And who would they love to see wearing a kekkai design? The fantastic Tilda Swinton, who as Emily says, "would absolutely appreciate the work that we put into our designs, and hopefully see our scarves as a statement, art inspired piece."

Check out kekkai's range of beautiful scarves here.

One Beat Designs Mlekoshi playground